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Are you at risk of diabetic retinopathy?

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Well, if you are a diabetic with rising levels of blood sugar then you are vulnerable.

But what is diabetic retinopathy?

    Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that affects the retina, which is the layer of tissue present at the back of the eyeball that contains cells that are sensitive to light. These cells trigger nerve impulses that pass via the optic nerve to the brain, where a visual image is formed. Thus, the cells in the retina are responsible for changing light into images. 

    If you have uncontrolled levels of sugar in your body, this unchecked level of blood sugar can cause slow damage to the blood vessels of the retina. Once damaged, the blood vessels can swell, leak fluid, or begin to bleed leading to vision changes or blindness. 

    Diabetic retinopathy can strike anyone with type I or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes the more likely it is that you will develop this serious complication of suffering from diabetes.

    What’s even more alarming is that this condition has no or very mild symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. 

    Moreover, if not detected in time, and without medical intervention, and careful management of diabetes, the condition can advance rapidly to reveal itself in the following symptoms:

    • Floaters: These are spots or dark strings floating in your vision 
    • Blurred vision
    • Fluctuating vision: Frequent changes in the clarity of vision
    • Dark or empty areas in your vision
    • Loss of vision 

    The best way to prevent the onset of diabetic retinopathy is to meticulously manage diabetes with the help of an endocrinologist. A yearly visit to the eye-doctor is also a must, even if your vision does not seem to be problematic. 

    For to-be mothers, developing diabetes before pregnancy or having gestational diabetes can put you at greater risk of diabetic retinopathy. In fact, if you’re pregnant, that might warrant additional eye visits to the eye doctor. 

    Diabetic retinopathy needs early detection for it to be stopped before it causes irreversible damage. When detected early, it can be reversed through laser treatment, surgery or medication. It will depend on your eye-doctor to determine the treatment option that will work best for you. 

    In laser treatment, a laser is applied directly to the damaged tissue or the periphery of the retina to destroy the damaged tissue and remove the scars that block vision. 

    In surgery, a Vitrectomy is performed. This operation removes blood for the vitreous, which is the clear fluid at the back of the eye. The vitreous is cleared of blood and replaced with clear gel for vision to be restored. 

    Medications like anti-VEGFs and corticosteroids are also used by doctors to help improve vision and slow down vision loss. They are usually injected directly into the eye or released slowly through a tiny device, which your doctor will implant inside your eye.

    However, prevention is always better than cure. So make sure you keep your blood sugar levels well under control. And don’t hesitate to call on your eye doctor right away if you experience sudden vision changes or blurry vision.

    On a more comforting note, the Dimmable Table Lamp protects your eyes by emitting flicker free and non glare light to reduce eye strain and fatigue. Choose from 5 different brightness levels and adjust to different angles for comfortable lighting. The lamp comes with a wireless charger to charge your mobile or iPad. It can prevent your eyes from the problems that can arise out of prolonged eye strain.